July Birthstone – Ruby

Ruby is the red variety of the mineral corundum, colored by the element chromium. All other colors of gem-quality corundum are called sapphire, which means color is key for this royal stone. The chromium that gives ruby its red color also causes fluorescence, which makes rubies glow like a fire from within. Paradoxically, chromium is also what makes this gem scarce because it can cause cracks and fissures. Few rubies actually grow large enough to crystallize into fine quality gems, and these can bring even higher prices than diamonds.

Rubies have been particularly prized in Asian countries. Records suggest that rubies were traded along China’s North Silk Road as early as 200 B.C. Chinese noblemen adorned their armor with rubies because they believed the gem would grant protection. They also buried rubies beneath building foundations to secure good fortune.Ancient Hindus believed they’d be reborn as emperors if they offered rubies to the god Krishna. In Hindu folklore, the glowing fire within rubies burned so hot that they allegedly boiled water. Greek legends similarly claimed that ruby’s warmth could melt wax.

Many cultures admired ruby as a symbol of love andpassion. Rubies have long been considered the perfect wedding gem. Due to its deep red color, ruby has long been associated with the life force and vitality of blood. It is believed to amplify energy, heighten awareness, promote courage and bring success in wealth, love and battle. Tough and durable, ruby measures 9 on the Mohs scale. Diamond is the only natural gemstone harder than ruby.

June Birthstone – Pearls

Pearls are the only gemstones made by living creatures. Mollusks produce pearls by depositing layers of calcium carbonate around microscopic irritants that get lodged in their shells- usually not a grain of sand, as commonly believed. While any shelled mollusk can technically make a pearl, only two groups of bivalve mollusks (or clams) use mother-of-pearl to create the iridescent “nacreous” pearls that are valued in jewelry. These rare gems don’t require any polishing to reveal their natural luster. Because perfectly round, smooth natural pearls are so uncommon, the word “pearl” can refer to anything rare and valuable. The finest pearls have a reflective luster, making them appear creamy white with an iridescent sheen that casts many colorful hues.

Pearls used to be found in many parts of the world, but natural pearling is now confined to the Persian Gulf waters near Bahrain. Australia owns one of the world’s last remaining pearl diving fleets, and still harvests natural pearls from the Indian Ocean. Today, most freshwater cultured pearls come from China. South Sea pearls are cultured along the northwestern coastline of Australia, the Philippines and Indonesia.

In many cultures, pearls symbolize purity and innocence, which is why it’s tradition for a bride to wear pearls on her wedding day. Besides being one of three birthstones for June, the pearl is also the birthstone for babies born under the signs of Gemini and Cancer, and frequently gifted on 1st, 3rd, 12th and 30th wedding anniversaries

May Birthstone – Emerald

Traditionally associated with the attributes of fertility, love and rebirth, the Emerald was dedicated by the Ancient Romans to Venus, the goddess of love and beauty. The striking magnificent lush shade was one of Cleopatra’s favorite gems. Today, emerald meaning represents wisdom, growth and patience. By weight, the emerald is the most valuable gemstone today.

The May birthstone, the Emerald is a truly feminine spirit full of nurturing qualities. It is unsurprising that those born under the month of May usually have behavioral characteristics of loyalty, faithfulness and are more predisposed for friendship. Wearers of Emerald can benefit from the metaphysical properties of improved memory and enhanced mental capabilities. May babies are truly wise.

The word Emerald is derived from the Greek word “Smaragdos” meaning “green stone”- an apt description for this beautiful gemstone.The rich green color, a variety of beryl gem stones is valued as a precious gem. It was used popularly during the Victorian period for jewelry for royals. Ancient folklore believed that wearing Emeralds could positively contribute to a romantic relationship of the wearer.

April Birthstone – Diamonds

The diamond as the April gemstone has garnered the hearts of many and is the most coveted crystal to date. Deemed as the “King of all Birthstones,” diamonds make the ideal choice for an April birthday gift. (She’ll love you for it!)

Natural diamonds are a rare and unique ultimate gift for a loved one. Thought to be one of the hardest substances on the globe, diamonds date back billions of years. Adopted from the Greek work adamas, meaning “invincible,” diamonds come in a wide range of colors such as black, blue, green, pink, red, purple, orange and yellow.

The diamond is the traditional birthstone of April and holds significant meaning for those born in that month, thought to provide the wearer with better relationships and an increase in inner strength.

Wearing diamonds is purported to bring other benefits such as balance, clarity and abundance. It’s also symbolic of eternal love, and those fortunate to call April the month of their birth will enjoy the history behind this rare gem.

 

March Birthstone – Aquamarine

The name aquamarine is derived from the Latin word aqua, meaning water, and marina, meaning the sea. This gemstone was believed to protect sailors, as well as to guarantee a safe voyage. The serene color of aquamarineis said to cool the temper, allowing the wearer to remain calm and levelheaded. Its pale, cool color beautifully complements spring and summer wardrobes.

Aquamarine is most often light in tone and ranges from greenish blue to blue-green; the color usually is more intense in larger stones. This gemstone is mined mainly in Brazil, but also is found in Nigeria, Madagascar, Zambia, Pakistan, and Mozambique.

February Birthstone – Amethyst

Amethyst, the birthstone of February, is a variety of Quartz that carries a spectacular purple color that ranges from a blend of deep violet and red to a lighter lilac hue.Amethyst was believed by ancient Greeks and Romans to ward of the intoxicating powers of Bacchus, also is said to keep the wearer clear-headed and quick-witted.

Throughout history, the gemstone has been associated with manymyths, legends, religions, and numerous cultures. English regalia were even decorated with amethysts during the Middle Ages to symbolize royalty.

Amethyst is purple quartz,a beautiful blend of violet and red that can found in every corner of the earth. Historically, the finest amethyst were found in Russia and were featured in much royal European jewelry. Today, Brazil and Zambia are the primary sources of this beautifully radiant violet gemstone.

January Birthstone – Garnet

Garnet, the birthstone for January, signifies eternal friendship and trust and is the perfect gift for a friend. Garnet, derived from the word granatum, means seed, and is called so because of the gemstone’s resemblance to a pomegranate seed. References to the gemstone dates back to 3100 BC, when the Egyptians used garnets as inlays in jewelry.

Garnet is available in a rainbow of colors, from the deep red Bohemian Garnet to the vibrant greens of the Russian Demantoid and African Tsavorite. We also see it appearing in the oranges and browns of Mandarin Garnet, Spessartite and Hessonite from Namibia and Sri Lanka, and the subtle pinks and purples of Rhododendron, and the most widely recognized color of Pyrope Garnet. It is considered a great gift to symbolize friendship and trust.

Legend says Garnets light up the night and protect their owners from nightmares. Garnets have long been carried by travelers to protect against accidents far from home. Garnet is the birthstone for January but with its stunning variety of colors and its mystical powers it has been given as a gift for all occasions for centuries.